Juliette Stratis from Lithia gave the farewell speech at her St. Leo University commencement ceremony held on April 27.

By Mary McCoy

Juliette Stratis of Lithia was selected to give the Class of 2019 farewell to her peers at Saint Leo University. She spoke to her fellow graduates, their families and the university community at Saint Leo’s morning commencement ceremony on April 27 at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Stratis earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication management. Born in Maryland, she spent her childhood moving from place to place as a ‘military brat.’ She is the daughter of Jeannie Stratis and the late John Stratis. When her father retired to Florida, she was introduced to Saint Leo University by a family friend. Following in her big brother John’s footsteps, Stratis chose Saint Leo. Her brother John also graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science: information assurance.

A 2015 graduate of Newsome High School, Stratis was active in many organizations during her four years at Saint Leo University. She was a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and elected vice president of communication management for the Student Government Union. She was a member and held leadership roles in several honor societies and organizations, including Delta Epsilon Sigma, Order of Omega and Omicron Delta Kappa. Stratis was the collegiate representative for the Saint Leo Alumni Association for two terms and she served as an orientation leader and mentor for freshmen for three years.

Stratis received an SGU award for her philanthropic event, Her Week, which she created to raise money and awareness for sex trafficking victims. In her senior year, Stratis participated in a directed study program with Dr. Diane Monahan, chair of Saint Leo’s Department of Communication, Marketing and Multimedia Management. She also had an internship as a public relations assistant at PRESS PR + Marketing in Tampa.

“Being selected to be the commencement speaker is a huge honor,” Stratis said. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity and all of the other opportunities Saint Leo has given me.”

More than 1,250 students received their degrees during two commencement ceremonies for Saint Leo University. While Saint Leo University’s main campus is in Pasco County, the university teaches at 15 locations throughout the state as well as online throughout the world.